This report presents evaluation results of the Vanguard robot, which was designed to meet National Institute of Justice (NIJ) specifications for effective bomb-disposal robots.
The law enforcement community needs a low-cost bomb-disposal robot that can eliminate or reduce the danger posed to bomb technicians who must inspect, x-ray, and disrupt explosive devices. The major shortcoming of most bomb-disposal robots is their high cost, placing them well out of reach of most bomb squads in the United States. In an effort to remedy this problem and spark innovation, NIJ developed design criteria for an effective bomb-disposal robot. These criteria included the ability to lift a 35-pound object; a functional range of 300 to 450 yards from the operator; monthly maintenance time of no more than 2 hours; and a cost of not more than $31,000. Relying on private funds, EOD Performance, Inc. designed and built the Vanguard robot to meet these criteria. NIJ awarded Battelle funding to conduct a technical and operational assessment of the Vanguard robot and its ability to meet the NIJ criteria. An enhancement evaluation was also conducted to recommend improvements on the Vanguard robot. Overall, the Vanguard platform performance met or exceeded that of other bomb-disposal robots and satisfied a large percentage of the NIJ specifications, including the price tag of $31,000. The Vanguard robot did not meet the requirements for speed and mission duration, however; enhancements were recommended to address the attribute and task deficiencies. Based on the evaluation findings, EOD has modified the Vanguard and NIJ is funding an assessment of the modifications. The current assessment was unable to evaluate training requirements, maintenance requirements, and maintenance costs. Contact information is provided for additional information. Exhibits
Best Practice/State-of-the-Art Review
Date Published: July 1, 2004